RSPH has welcomed the launch of the government’s consultation seeking views on its plans to make places serving food and drink outside of the home display calorie information. This could include the provision of calorie information on menus in restaurants, pubs, cafés and takeaways. 

The consultation also asks for views on:

  • Which businesses and products should have to display calorie information;
  • What information should be displayed alongside information about calories;
  • Where this information should be displayed; and,
  • How businesses can put this into practice and whether they will face any issues or obstacles in doing so.

With excess calorie intake fuelling record levels of obesity, and with eating out increasingly becoming the norm, providing clear and visible information at the point of choice could play an important role in equipping the public with the knowledge to make healthier decisions. 

One third of children leaving primary school are currently overweight or obese, and therefore these measures have the potential to support parents to protect their children and families from obesity and future ill-health. 

The Government’s proposals are in line with recommendations already made by RSPH and Slimming World to tackle the obesogenic environment in their joint Child’s Obesity Strategy and Size Matters report, including for consumers to be more aware of additional calorie intake from upselling.

Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive, RSPH, said: “As a population, we are eating out more than ever before and from our previous research we know that the public often seek out calorie information for the food they are eating. We know that nutritional labelling provides an effective measure when helping individuals, parents and families to make healthier choices, and it is absolutely right that the government has launched this consultation on calorie labelling in places serving food and drink outside of the home. 

While we welcome these proposals, the Government must also continue to take forward other measures to tackle our increasingly “obesogenic environment” including measures to encourage manufacturers to reformulate their product range, supporting Local Authorities to clamp down on the clustering of fast food takeaways and tackling price promotions and marketing of unhealthy products.”